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Coconut & Pineapple Fried Rice | Caribbean Fete | Feast In Thyme

Coconut & Pineapple Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 lb jasmine rice
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp habanero or scotch bonnet pepper, minced (about one pepper)
  • 2 stalks scallions, diced (whites only)
  • 1 carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped (about half a pineapple)
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 cup toasted cashews, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Prepared pineapple boat (see instructions below)

Instructions

  1. To make the rice, combine water, coconut milk, coconut flakes, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large pot (stainless steel works well), and bring to a boil. Add the rice, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 25 minutes, until the water has been absorbed by the rice. Remove from heat and toss the rice to prevent sticking. This can be done ahead and the rice refrigerated overnight if you like.

  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large wok over medium heat. If you do not have a large enough pan to make everything at once, you can make the rice in two batches by splitting the rest of the ingredients in half. Add the hot pepper, scallions, and carrot and sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper, then add the ginger, thyme, pineapple, lime juice, zest, and cashews. Sauté for another 3-5 minutes. 

  3. Add coconut rice and toss with the vegetable mix, spreading it out in the thinnest possible layer over the surface of the pan. Let cook for 5-8 minutes without disturbing it, then add the soy sauce, toss the mixture together, and spread it out again, cooking for another 5-8 minutes. Depending on the amount of rice and the size of your pan, you might need to repeat this process a few times until bits are a little crispy and toasted in places, but be careful not let it burn.

  4. Remove from heat but keep warm. When ready to serve, spoon as much rice as will fit into your prepared pineapple boat, heaping the top into a rounded mound. It is unlikely that all of the rice will fit. Reserve the remaining fried rice in the kitchen to refill the pineapple boat as needed, or serve in a separate bowl on the table. Sprinkle the top with the chopped cilantro, serve warm, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

 

How to Make a Pineapple Boat: Set the largest, prettiest pineapple you can find on a steady cutting board. Taking into account the shape and look of the pineapple, determine what side will be the “boat” and what side will be cut off. You may need to lay the pineapple on the cutting board in order to determine what side will lie flat without tipping. Once you know what will be the bottom of the bowl, stand the pineapple upright. Setting your knife close to the base of the leaves (without cutting them in half), cut one side of the pineapple from the rest, leaving about two-thirds of the fruit and all of the leaves intact. Reserve the one-third for another use (like garnishing cocktails). Lay the pineapple back down flesh-side up, and cut a ring into the flesh, leaving about a half an inch of flesh to form the rim of the bowl. Be careful not to cut through the skin, or your boat may leak when filled with food later. Once you’ve cut the perimeter, cut the center into chunks cross wise (again, being careful not to cut through the bottom flesh), and then scoop out the pineapple chunks with a big spoon. You should be left with a pineapple “shell” that will be your boat. Cover in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Make This A Main Dish: While I’ve presented this as a side dish, you can easily add fried tofu, poached chicken, sautéed shrimp, or even some scrambled eggs to the finished rice to add protein and make this more of a main event.